Nicola Sturgeon praises parents for keeping children at home

Nicola Sturgeon has thanked parents for keeping their children at home as the coronavirus outbreak accelerates, with a total of 719 positive cases now recorded.

Nicola Sturgeon has praised parents for keeping children at home during coronavirus lockdown

The latest figures show the number of people testing postive for the virus have increased by 135 from 584 on Tuesday.

However, the First Minister praised those who were “complying” with government advice, in particular parents who were remaining at home with their children while schools are shut.

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She said the Scottish Government had been "deeply worried" about the number of people who would try to get a childcare place, but the small number of those taking them up was a "positive sign" people were "complying with these necessary restrictions".

“Can I thank people across Scotland who are co-operating in what is a very difficult time for everybody” she said. “We should remember the vast majority of people have listened to advice and are acting responsibly.

“When we announced school closures and said that only vulnerable children and those of key workers would get a place in childare and we were deeply worried that the numbers seeking places would mean we would find it difficult to stay within the health guidance. We were worried about the safety of pupils and teachers.

“We asked people to be creative in finding solutions and to keep their chidlren safe and the results have been positive. Initial estimates show that there are only around 1 per cent of people taking up these childcare places. That is good news and shows people are complying and everyone following this advice is helping us slow down the spread of this virus and saving lives.”

She said that the number of bus journeys being undertaken had also fallen dramatically – with those being made by passengers who have free bus passes, falling by more than 70 per cent.

“Bus comapnies have reported a fall of over 70 per cent in concessionary travel journeys and to support these companies at this time the Scottish Government will pay them for the concessionary travel they were forecast to provide rather than the travel they actually provide, and that will be support of tens of millions of pounds at a challenging time.”